Solar Panel

Types Of Solar Panels: Which One Is The Best Choice?

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Technological advancement may be isolating people from one another, but it has also got some benefits that have helped people retain the balance of the earth. For example, different types of solar panels derive energy from the sun and reduce our electricity needs. Thus, they are helping us preserve the non-renewable energy sources on earth to provide a better life to our future generation.

The zeal to use renewable energy sources has taken one step forward with the best type of solar panels. As a result, the solar power industry grew by 50% last year, proving how demanding solar panels have become worldwide. But, if the solar power industry is on the rise, we must study the solar panel types to understand them better.

What Is A Solar Panel?

What Is A Solar Panel

The solar panel is an instrument that collects solar power directly from the sun and converts it into electricity. There are mainly two types of solar energy technologies like photovoltaics and concentrating solar-thermal power. A standard solar panel constitutes different types and amounts (60, 72, 90) solar cells. 

Each solar cell is composed of layers of boron, phosphorus, and silicon. The boron layer is responsible for offering a positive charge, the phosphorus layer is accountable for providing a negative charge, and the silicon layer works as the semiconductor. 

When photons from the sun rays strike the panel’s surface, multiple electrons emerge from that collision. It creates a directional current, which is then leveraged into usable power. It is called photovoltaics, which is the primary type of technology used to transform solar power into solar energy. 

What Are The Different Types Of Solar Panels?

Solar Panel types depend on many factors, and different kinds of solar panels have different pros and cons. There are four major types of solar panels such as;

1: Monocrystalline Solar Panels

These types of solar panels are made of a single pure silicon crystal, which is then divided into multiple wafers. It is easy to identify them with their dark black shade because they are made of silicon cells. It is also the most spacious and long-lasting solar panel among all the different solar panels. However, a lot of silicone is wasted to make one pure monocrystalline cell. 

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  1. It is the most efficient solar panel type as it can convert the highest amount of solar power into electricity.
  2. They are long-lasting and highly durable, proving their worth in the market.
  3. These solar panels are not harmful to the environment. 
  1. The process of making monocrystalline solar panels are pretty complicated.
  2. It takes a lot of time to make one monocrystalline solar panel due to the process complexity.
  3. It is also the most expensive solar panel type.

2: Polycrystalline Solar Panels

These types of solar panels are made of different types of silicon crystals, unlike monocrystalline solar panels. Then people melt the silicone fragments and mold them into a square shape. With the standard square shape, there is hardly any material wasted in its making, making it an affordable solar panel.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  1. These solar panel types are easier to make and take much lesser time to make.
  2. Polycrystalline solar panels come with a lower price tag, making them affordable for everyone.
  3. There is a much lesser wastage of silicone in the making of these panels.
  1. These are not very efficient when it comes to space and energy conversion.
  2. They have a lower heat tolerance, which makes them less effective in high temperatures.
  3. They don’t last as long as monocrystalline solar panels.

3: PERC Solar Panels

If you want to know about the new types of solar panels, you must consider the PERC solar panels. They are evolved from the traditional monocrystalline solar panels. New technology is used here, which adds a passivation layer on the panel’s surface, and increases the panel’s effectiveness in numerous ways.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  1. These solar panel types reflect the light to the sun, which increases the amount of solar radiation.
  2. These types of solar panels allow a greater wavelength of light to be reflected.
  3. These are ideal for small spaces because they collect high energy in small footprints.
  1. These panels reduce the usual tendency of electrons to amalgamate and inhibit the system.
  2. These panels are more complicated to produce due to the additional materials to add the passivation layers.
  3. They are also slightly more expensive than traditional solar panels.

4: Thin-Film Solar Panels

Thin-film solar panels are much thinner and more flexible than monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. You don’t need a frame backing for different panels here, making them easier to install and lightweight. You can get these types of solar panels in various size options to suit different needs.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  1. They are not very expensive.
  2. You can apply thin-film solar panels on many surface types.
  3. These solar panel types are very flexible, and you can bend them without breaking them.
  4. They perform very well in indirect light and high heat.
  1. They are not very efficient when it comes to energy conversion.
  2. These panels need twice space for the same amount of power.
  3. They are not very durable and long-lasting.
  4. Their performance degrades faster than other types of solar panels.

Types Of Solar Panels By Cost

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most expensive solar panel types. It is mainly due to the time-consuming and complicated manufacturing process that yields only 50% of the total silicone used. Manufacturers use the Czochralski process to create these solar panels, requiring much more energy than others. The average cost per watt is $1 – $1.50 for these panels. 

Polycrystalline solar panels cost much lower than monocrystalline solar panels. Their average cost per watt is $0.70 – $1. In addition, the cell manufacturing process is much simpler here and does not even require much time, which makes them a more affordable choice for solar panels. 

PERC solar panels are the most expensive of all the different kinds of solar panels. Their average cost per watt is $0.32-$0.65. You can manufacture the PERC solar panels using the same equipment as the monocrystalline solar panels. However, their lower average cost per watt makes them very efficient. 

Thin-Film solar panels have three types. The Copper indium gallium selenide comes with an average cost per watt of $0.60-$0.70. The Cadmium telluride’s average cost per watt is  $0.50-$0.60, and the Amorphous silicon’s average cost per watt is $0.433-$0.50. 

Types Of Solar Panels By Efficiency, And Power

Monocrystalline solar panels generate the highest amount of power among different solar panels. That is why they have an efficiency rating of 20%. On the other hand, the efficiency rating of polycrystalline solar panels varies from 15%-17%. This is because they tend to have much lower wattages than the monocrystalline panels. 

However, these solar panels come with 60 silicones, making one precisely the same size as another. As a result, the power capacity of monocrystalline solar panels exceeds up to 300-400 watts, while the power capacity of polycrystalline solar panels exceeds up to 240-300 watts.

PERC solar panels have the highest efficiency of 5% more than the monocrystalline panels, so that’s the highest one among all solar panels. It happens due to the passivation layer. On the other hand, the thin-film solar panels come in different size options, and their efficiency ratings also vary from 6% to 15%, depending upon the variant. 

FAQs

We have elaborated on different types of solar panels in this article. We have judged these panels on their efficiency, durability, costing, and several other parameters. However, if you still have some questions left, you can take a look at this section;

1: Which Type Of Solar Panel Is Best?

Ans: Monocrystalline solar panels are the best when it comes to efficiency and durability, but they come with a hefty price tag too. Polycrystalline solar panels cost much lower, and but their efficiency rating is lower than the former. On the other hand, PERCs have a reasonable efficiency rate and lower power wattage, so they are a good choice too.

2: How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Ans: Solar panels last for approx 25-30 years, but that depends upon the in-built technology of the panel. However, if you maintain your solar panel properly, you can also make it last 40-50 years. You can also use the used solar panels because they are not completely wasted.

3: What Type Of Panel Is Best For Your Installation?

Ans: If property owners have a lot of space, they can install polycrystalline solar panels. However, if property owners don’t have much space and need to save electricity, monocrystalline solar panels will be the best install. But, thin-film solar panels are suitable for portable areas like boats and RVs as they are very flexible.

Conclusion

In this article, we have shed light on different types of solar panels. So, if you are looking for the perfect one for your home or vehicle, you can choose any of these four solar panel types we mentioned here. For further questions on this topic, you can choose to ping us in the comment section below. 

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Sofia
Sofia Kelly is a passionate blogger. She loves to share her thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the world through blogging. Sofia Kelly is associated with Instana Green World & Big Jar News.

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